Inside Track July 2022

Page 38

Barking Riverside

First extension of London Overground in seven years opens to passengers

Barking Riverside station will be located in the midst of a new development alongside the River Thames

M

ore new railway opened in London on 18 July, with trains starting operations on the 2.1-mile (4.5km) Barking Riverside extension. This is the first extension of the London Overground (LO) network since 2015. Trains run from Gospel Oak, which was electrified in 2018. Essential engineering was undertaken by Network Rail on the Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside route on 23-24 July, with the line

operating seven days a week after that. Testing on the new railway began the same week that passenger trains were launched on the new central section of the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood. The new LO line offers local residents and visitors to Barking Riverside quicker and easier journeys and these are being introduced even sooner than planned – originially the line was set to open this autumn.

Barking Riverside extension timeline August 2017: Transport and Works Act Order granted ecember 2018: Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and VolkerFitzpatrick appointed as contractors to D deliver the project February 2019: Start of major construction works October 2021: Completion of viaduct construction including track slab March 2022: Final signal commissioning completed May 2022: Driver training and route testing begins Source: Transport for London.

July 2022

38

Image: TfL

East London communities set to benefit as Barking Riverside line becomes operational months ahead of schedule

Journey times take seven minutes by train instead of the current 25 minutes by bus. Four trains per hour serve the new step-free station built in the heart of the Barking Riverside development. At Barking there are interchange possibilities with the District and Hammersmith and City lines, and c2c main line services towards the Essex coast. Further along the Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside route passengers can also interchange with the Elizabeth line at Forest Gate, which is a short walk from Wanstead Park London Overground station. The opening of the extension takes the number of step-free LO stations on the network to more than 60, which Transport for London (TfL) says helps make London a more accessible city for everyone and supports people’s independence when travelling in the capital. TfL confirmed in mid-June that the LO route would begin carrying passengers “this summer”, before confirming the opening date on 11 July. The improved timescale is thanks to good progress made in the completion of the station commissioning and testing stages.

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